More to come, says top platform

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Planner satisfaction levels with platforms reached the highest level in 10 years of Investment Trends history, and it could be set to go higher.

The tenth annual Planner Technology Report showed an increase in all of the 27 areas measured for planner satisfaction with platforms.

 “Following last year’s record satisfaction, these increases have resulted in planners’ overall satisfaction with their platforms reaching the highest level we’ve seen in the 10 years of this study,” said Investment Trends senior analyst Recep Peker.

The new lower-cost and flexible pricing models have been the most successful in driving planners’ satisfaction. Planner satisfaction with Netwealth’s new Super Accelerator solution gave the platform the top spot, with the largest increase in overall satisfaction. Netwealth was followed by Macquarie Wrap and CFS FirstChoice.

Peker said planners also cited international share trading and the availability of multiple insurance providers as reasons for their satisfaction.

Netwealth executive director Matt Heine is not only excited about the award, but also about some up-coming announcements that planners can look forward to in the next 12 months. They will be announcing a third insurer to join the platform, as well as new share trading transactions that will allow bulk trading in coming months.

“There is a lot happening and we’re obviously fairly excited about the results and it’s important that we can continue the momentum and keep delivering on what the advisers are asking for – which is always a challenge but good fun.”

With the increased specialisation of platforms, Heine has some counsel for new advice businesses.

“It’s important to understand what the business requirements are before selecting a platform,” he says.  “If you’re joining a licensee as well, make sure the licensee you join has a relationship with, or will allow, the product you want to use to be used in the business. It’s more complex than just picking the right platform, it’s about picking the right licensee partner as well.”

Heine says that while some bank platforms are increasing features and functionality to support their internal distribution, others, like Netwealth, are specialising in the non-aligned IFA space that has a different set of requirements.

He also attributes some of their success to their non-aligned status. “The fact that we’re not aligned to a bank-owned organisation means that we can come to the relationship from a very different angle to the other platforms and not have the inherent self-interest that other platforms have.”